At the Southern Regional Medical Command, we take our job, caring for America's Sons and Daughters, very seriously and part of that includes patient safety. This year's theme for Patient Safety Week is "Navigate your Health... Safely" and I'd like to tell you about some tools you can use that will help guide you safely on your trip through the Army Medicine healthcare system.

At each of our military treatment facilities we have implemented the Department of Defense's Partnership for Patients, a program that is aimed at helping to improve the quality, safety and affordability of healthcare. The two goals of the Partnership for Patients are to make care safer and keep patients from getting injured or sicker, and to improve care transitions and help patients heal without complications. The program works because it builds on work already underway and supports local initiatives.

The Partnership for Patients has identified 10 core patient safety areas of focus. While we don't limit our focus to these areas, they are a great starting point, and Communities of Practice have been established for each of the focus areas below.

- adverse drug events
- catheter-associated urinary tract infections
- central line associated blood stream infections
- obstetrical adverse events
- injuries from falls and immobility
- pressure ulcers
- surgical site infections
- venous thromboembolism
- ventilator-associated pneumonia
- readmissions

In addition to these 10 areas of focus, in the Southern Region we have added MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) safety to the list to ensure our patients receive the top notch care and treatment our MTFs are known for.

I would like to encourage all of our patients to ask questions of their providers and never be afraid to speak up if you are confused or unsure. That is the largest and most effective tool to help you navigate through your medical appointments and procedures. Any of your providers will gladly take the time to explain procedures, illnesses, medications and treatment plans with you. We will work together as a team to get you back on the path to health.

Serving to Heal...
Honored to Serve.